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Shaw Nature Reserve
Nature Trails and Native Missouri Plants
The Shaw Nature Reserve is a wonderful area to visit and enjoy the great outdoors. It has restored prairies, wetland, glades and woodlands, along with a beautiful wildflower garden. There are many trails for hiking and enjoying the native plants and it is a fantastic place to photograph nature.
The Reserve is a part of the Missouri Botanical Garden system and has some great educational programs. I recently attended a two day workshop on Prairie Photograhy there and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was my first experience at Shaw Nature reserve and I am looking forward to returning to this beautiful site often.
photographs by Mary Beth Granger
Gazebo and Water Feature
There are small gazebo type structures, small ponds and benches to rest on throughout the reserve. In addition to making a beautiful place to rest they create some great photo opportunities. I like the way this gazebo is reflected on the water.
I walked around this gazebo several times trying to find just the right angle to capture the scene.
Bascom House - historic
In addition to all of the natural beauty in the reserve there are also a few historic houses. I think they add to the beauty of the surroundings.
This house was built in 1879 by a retired Confederate Colonel, Thomas Crews. It now houses an exhibit about people in the middle Meramec River Valley over the last 12,000 years. It is located a short distance from the Whitmire Wildflower Garden.
Wildflowers at Shaw Nature Reserve
The Whitmire wildflower garden offers visitors the chance to walk the trails and view over 5 acres of Missouri's native plants. As you wander through the trails of the gardens you will find wildflowers found throughout Missouri.
Images of Autumn
photographs at Shaw Nature Reserve
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors of fall and the cool crisp days. Shaw Nature Reserve is a perfect place for a photographer in autumn. There are so many beautiful scenes to capture. I like to go their in the early morning, before sunrise, and capture the beauty that unfolds as the day begins.
Shaw Nature Reserve has a never ending variety of scenes that change with each season. This photo was taken in early October at the beginning of the fall season. I love the way the early morning sun peeps through the leaves and light peeks between the edges.
Exploring on the Trails
Shaw Nature Reserve has a 14 mile trail system. This photograph was taken early one morning along the Wetland Trail where there was fog in the low lying areas. We wandered along this trails looking for interesting subjects for our photographs. We found lots of beautiful flowers and insects as we slowly made our way through the trails. The fog was a nice bonus and added another aspect to our photos.
Grasshopper in the Prairie - Insect Photography
Shaw Nature Reserve is also a great place to photograph insects. My friend and neighbor Teresa took these photos of the grasshopper and spider at our photography class.
Spider in the Prairie by Teresa
Where is Shaw Nature Reserve?
This beautiful nature reserve is easily accessible at the Gray Summit exit from Hwy 44 just west of St. Louis.